It is our honor at Prois Hunting Apparel to be associated with so many amazing women. The 2011 Prois Award brought forward an amazing group of ladies who are hardcore to the bone…and still have time to invest their energy into conservation efforts and community service. Our 2011 Prois Award Recipient, Andrea Fisher, was announced in January of this year. Despite the fact that there can only be one winner for such an award, we at Prois felt it was important to spotlight each of our 12 finalists and their amazing stories! With that…meet Britney Starr!
“Obsessed”, “crazy”, “addicted”, “driven”, “passionate”, “hardcore”, and “extreme” are words that others have used to describe myself and my lifestyle. I agree with them all.
My name is Britney Starr and I was born and bred in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My existence revolves around hunting and I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are following my dad while scouting for turkeys and picking up turkey poop to show to him. “Santa” brought me a Browning 7mm mag rifle for Christmas when I was 12 and the following year I harvested my first Caribou with it. I traveled to South Africa on my first safari when I was 16. I have also been hunting whitetail deer, turkey and upland birds since I was 12 along with shooting trap and sporting clays.
In 2000 I was in a car accident that left me in the hospital for six weeks. It also left my arm and wrist severely injured. I was furious because it caused me to miss spring turkey season. I was a freshman in high school at the time and during the next four years I struggled with my injury but still managed to play varsity sports and continue hunting. I even went on my second safari. During my junior year I had additional surgeries on my wrist which caused a bone infection. I carried an IV bag that pumped antibiotics directly into my heart 24 hours a day. As it neared Michigan’s deer season my dad and I formulated a plan to go to deer camp. My mom protested, but I assured her that I would be fine. Come hell or high water, I was NOT missing another hunting season. I walked through the woods with a backpack holding the IV bag and pump and climbed (one handed) into my tower blind with my rifle slung across my back. Hardcore? Maybe. Crazy? Yes.
Side Note: My IV came out while I was asleep one night at camp. My dad had to shove it back in my arm and I was bleeding everywhere. Please don’t tell my mom-she still doesn’t know.
These struggles only ignited my passion for the outdoors. I realized that I wanted to make hunting a way of life and not just a hobby. I attended Western Michigan University and acquired a B.A. in journalism in hopes that I would become an outdoor writer. By the time I graduated college my dad and I had been on three safaris and were both working for a safari outfitter as U.S. Representatives. A few years later we decided to start our own safari company (Starr & Bodill African Safaris). I couldn’t be more ecstatic with our business venture. I am fortunate to spend three months out of the year traveling to Safari Club International shows around the mid-west and helping our clients make their safari dreams a reality. Our company donates numerous safaris every year to organizations like SCI, Kids Hunting for a Cure, RMEF, etc. I strongly believe that helping these organizations raise funds is imperative to the conservation of our hunting heritage and allowing future generations to experience what I have been privileged enough to experience thus far.
I recently started writing gear reviews for The Women’s Outdoor News online. I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to have the opportunity to write about outdoor products and network with other women that share my obsession for the outdoors and similar lifestyle. When I was growing up I literally thought I was THE ONLY girl that hunted. There were no women’s hunting clothes available and I had to wear my dad’s hand me downs. I am currently on a mission to replace all of my hand me downs with women specific hunting apparel. I love the fact that women have options with their gear now and several companies (Prois being one of them) offer practical gear for hardcore huntresses.
Hunting has become not only an obsession, addiction, and passion for me but it has truly become my way of life. I don’t feel it is necessary for me to list every single animal I have harvested in this essay, as I believe that hunting is more about the experience than the trophy. I cherish every minute I spend in the outdoors along with the memories it brings. Nothing is more sacred to me than the feeling of inner peace I experience during the journey. I will continue to contribute to conservation efforts and network with other women who hunt or aspire to become involved in the outdoors. The bond between fellow hunters and huntresses is unbelievably strong and I am blessed to be a part of this industry. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and considering me for the Prois Award.